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Using Social Media to Create ‘The Event’

As final preparations are underway for the July 31st (9am PT) Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Training Series USTREAM broadcast, let’s get the conversation going early! Are there certain social media examples used for on- and offline events that stick out in your mind? What made them great or perhaps ideas to avoid? And what was used to enhance the participants’ experience?

Within my last post on this topic, I mentioned social media is a perfect channel to help on- and offline audiences engage in events and activities. Audiences are able to share their own insights rather than just hearing a speaker present, exchange ideas and connect with others, and add to the overall collaborative experience.

Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando)

Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando)

Here are some tips to keep in mind when leveraging social media for on- and offline events:

  • Audiences: use social media to reach new audience segments for an event. After defining the audience in the overall planning stages and listening to their care-abouts, find ways to involve them in different aspects. E.g., polls to pinpoint most popular topic ideas, word-of-mouth opportunities to spread the word, VIP activities for top influencers, and live tweeting to keep engagement going.
  • Duration: leverage social media on an ongoing basis and draw attention to events and activities along the way, as part of the overall ongoing strategy. Depending on the type of event, promotions may begin a few months prior to just 3 weeks. E.g., a large hosted type of event or ongoing online series may require ongoing promotions year-round. Activities such as participating in another organization’s event or a webcast type of activity, may only require promotions 3-6 weeks in advance. Event-specific social media efforts should taper off within 1-2 weeks afterwards, folding back into the regular ongoing efforts.
  • SEO: include popular tags, Cisco and/or third-party hashtags, and keywords can greatly increase visibility for an event or activity. Take time to research these tags prior to beginning event-related social media efforts, maximizing efforts and reaching the appropriate audiences.
  • Monitoring and Measuring: create a program-specific listening and respond plan as part of the overall listening strategy. Since on- and offline events are happening in real-time, planning teams need to monitor constantly and handle responses in a timely manner. And when it comes to measurement, its best to focus on quantitative (number of responses, reach, etc.) and qualitative metrics (sentiment, influencers, etc.). These efforts can help teams benchmark and better understand areas of success and ways they can continue to improve strategies moving forward. (Check out this Cisco Live 2013 Orlando Listening Hub recap blog post, by Cisco’s Davythe Dicochea, for additional insights.)
  • Integration: tap into existing brand and third party accounts whenever possible rather than creating new ones. It will help continue more meaningful engagements with audience members, tap into existing and established channels, and continue to build reputation and trust among interested parties. Look for the most appropriate accounts and create/use content that relates to the audience’s care-abouts within each channel.
  • Activities: create a mix of posts, tweets, images, videos, traditional marketing, and activities to provide a full customer journey. As these assets and communications are developed or leveraged, find ways to keep the audience members engaged, focusing on their care-abouts. And just as importantly, make it fun as they get ready to participate in an event, engage with them during the event, and help the audience be the heroes of their organizations afterwards by providing helpful follow-up resources.
  • Experimentation: pilot new ideas to better understand how innovations or strategies can be implemented for future tactics and increased audience participation. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. This is part of the process and can often lead to even more innovative approaches.
  • Messaging: use social media to create 2-way dialogues for on- and offline events rather than just broadcasting upcoming activities. Communications should include a balance of consistency and variety to keep conversations fresh and relevant. And be sure to customize the messages by social media channel, taking into consideration format and communication best practices. Lastly, make it easy of audience members to share and follow information by incorporating social media channel links in all communication vehicles.

Are there other social media best practices for on- and offline events you’ve seen work well? Share them with us within this blog post and during our upcoming Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Training Series USTREAM broadcast. And we look forward to your participation at this upcoming live online session! Here are the details to participate:

  • When: Wednesday, July 31st
  • Time: 9-9:45 a.m. PT
  • Topic: Using Social Media for On- and Offline Events
  • Hashtag: #Ciscosmt (use this hashtag to ask panelists questions and to participate in the conversation)
  • Panel:
  • Jeanette Gibson, Senior Director, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Cisco (moderator)
  • Kathleen Mudge, Social Media Program Manager, Cisco (panelist)
  • Matt Rozen, Group Manager Corporate Social Media, Adobe (panelist)
  • Brian Ellefritz, Vice President, Global Social Media, SAP (panelist)

If you have any questions or are interested in other types of social media training, check out our new complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag.  To request  customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com.

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Social Media’s Impact on On- and Offline Events

How do you turn social media on its head and make it unique for your initiatives? I’m always fascinated to see new approaches to using social media and get inspired by different organizations’ creativity. From specific initiatives to drive more traffic and awareness (like American Express’ Passion Project) to getting executives involved (like HubSpot’s CEO Manager Twitter for a Day) to countless other examples in sports, entertainment, B2B, and B2C, creativity is a key factor in the success of our efforts.

Let's Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Let's Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Social media is especially intriguing when it comes to the way it can be used for on- and offline events. (E.g., webcasts, virtual environments, onsite conferences and meetings, Twitter chats, etc.) Based on the nature of these types of activities, social media is a strong communication channel to pilot new ideas, convert more traditional approaches to 2-way engagements, and create real-time impact.

Specifically social media can be used to:

  • Drive registration traffic
  • Create a much more engaging environment
  • Tie on- and offline participants together
  • Generate more information sharing, innovations, and crowdsourcing
  • Provide more direct access to speakers, executives, peers, and others
  • Offer ongoing engagement opportunities long after an “event” has taken place
  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly

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Exploring Social Media with Caution

May 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm PST

Today, we have never been so connected and accessible.  Information has never been that easy to get.  And we’ve never been spoiled with so many updates.

I used to remember sending snail mails (from Manila) to my grandma who was living in the U.S. back then.  That took a lot of time.  I remember my friends sharing with me that they stayed up late by writing excitedly in their diary.  And I remember spending time in the library to research on the works of Picasso or to learn more about the Renaissance Age.  How time has changed.

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5 Tips to Becoming a "Savvy" Social Media Marketer

Where do you go to find social media tips, statistics, trends, and best practices? I recently attended the Social Media for Savvy Marketers event hosted by Cisco featuring speakers from Twitter, SAP, Adobe, BuzzFeed, Salesforce.com, Percolate, and more. The two-day event brought candid conversations, interactive panel sessions, and an engaging way to learn how B2B and B2C brands are using social. When else can you hear from industry experts on the hottest trends in social media and learn best practices to leverage for your next social media campaign? If you missed out on this thought provoking event, below are my takeaways from the event.

savvy event picture 2        savvy event picture 1

5 Tips to Becoming a “Savvy” Social Media Marketer:

Tip #1: A Social Business Starts with your Executives: According to a social media statistic from eMarketer, “82% of employees say they trust a company more when CEO and leadership teams are involved in social.” Jeanette Gibson, Senior Director, Global Social Media Marketing at Cisco, shared that Cisco placed a monitor including a Twitter feed outside of CEO John Chamber’s office, showing the importance of the customer conversation. This was the first step Cisco made in transforming to a social business.  Additionally, Gibson noted, “Help your business to be S.O.C.I.A.L.: Scalable, Open, Consistent, Intuitive, Active, and Limitless”, showcasing the social conversation highlights of what is being said about your brand. The conversation is happening across channels and brands shouldn’t miss out.

Tip #2: Listening is the First Step of a Social Strategy: At each stage of a social media strategy, listening is critical. Before jumping into any conversation, we must pay attention to what is being said and then engage accordingly with that particular audience.  LaSandra Brill, Manager, Global Social Media Marketing at Cisco, shared the significance of listening as she discussed the importance of Social CRM. Brill noted that “85% of Tech buyers engage in some form of social activity.” Listening to what your customers are saying and are interested in allows for targeted offers to be sent to customers increasing the propensity to buy. Note: be sure to be clever vs. creepy with the targeted offers.

Tip #3: Content is King and Distribution is Queen: Creating good “snackable” content is critical to increasing the reach of the conversation. Video is quickly becoming the next generation of content as it is fun and engaging.  Matt Rozen, Group Manager Corporate Social Media of Adobe, shared his thoughts, “the best part of video is the measurable traffic. Video was just 10% of impressions, but drove 50% of site visits.” Content can engage an audience and keep them active in the conversation. On day two of the event, James Gross, Co-Founder of Percolate, advised “If we reshape how we create content, we will shift from renting audience to owning it.” Ultimately, I think Jonathan Perelman, VP Agency Strategy & Industry Development at Buzzfeed, summed up the idea of content most eloquently, “Content is King and distribution is queen.” Create great content and then let your fans share it. Once you have this great content, don’t forget to integrate search: include keywords, hashtags, and tagging!

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Getting the Insiders’ View of Social Media

Did you happen to catch the Let’s Chat! #ciscosmt Social Media Training Series executive panel USTREAM broadcast on Wednesday April 3rd? It was the first installment of an ongoing series we will provide through regular Twitter chats and occasional video chats.

Panel

Jeanette Gibson (@JeanetteG), Mark Chandler (@ChandlerCisco), Sheila Jordan (@CiscoSheila), and Lance Perry (@lanceperrycisco)

Side Note: In between Wednesday’s executive panel broadcast and our next Twitter chat, taking place in June, we have a robust Social Media for Savvy Marketers Conference coming up on April 18th and 19th. It’s free and available both in-person and online. Join us, registration is still open! And follow #ciscosmt and #socialsavvy for more details.

From behind the scenes, we had a feeling this chat session would be eye-opening and would really open the door to having more transparent social media conversations in the future. It was enlightening to see the level of candid insights, personal experiences, and fresh perspectives shared by @JeanetteG @ChandlerCisco @CiscoSheila and @lanceperrycisco.

For those that viewed the broadcast and/or participated in the social conversation, what did you think of it? And were there any “ah ha” moments you walked away with afterwards?

After voraciously taking notes and tweeting during the broadcast, here are some of my key takeaways. (These are in addition to the great Top 10 Tips for Executive Social Media @CiscoSheila shared with us.)

  • Social media gives executives a new way of conducting business, building reputations, and developing stronger relationships by accessing real-time feedback, receiving validation, and uncovering new ideas.
  • It’s important to keep in mind the value of internal and external social media channels and opportunities; creating internal opportunities to build communities and collaborate in new ways may take time to adopt, but will enable companies to move forward more efficiently and effectively. Mark Chandler Quote
  • Learning about social media and the ways to leverage it, help executives to not only keep up with trends, but to stay relevant with different generations.
  • Setting goals upfront and really understanding the purpose around using social media, specifically for an executive and for the company, will go a long way at being successful in leveraging it.
  • Social media can be a powerful channel for direct access, both by executives/companies and also by customers and other audience members.
  • It’s important for executives to show their personalities, projecting something about themselves and being authentic.
  • Embracing internal social media tools is a journey across the organization; understand that it’s dependent on changing behaviors–some will gravitate quickly, while others may take longer to adopt.

Here are some quotes I especially liked from the panelists:

  • From @lanceperrycisco: “The world is flat thanks to social media (not really of course), but it is an equalizer where we see contributions from everyone.”
  • From @CiscoSheila: “Mobile first! The combination of mobile and social is what helps us stay connected and provides executives with quick and immediate responses.”
  • From @ChandlerCisco: “Basic [social media policy] rules: courtesy, honesty, and respect.”
  • From @lanceperrycisco: “leaders don’t give the message, they are the message. Use the capabilities and the team will too. Those that don’t use them, do not have a strong social media presence.”
  • From @CiscoSheila: “Thought leadership comes from all levels of the company. With the rate of change in business, everyone is still figuring it out; use your whole network and help accelerate thinking.”
  • From @ChandlerCisco: “[Internal] social media becomes ‘the’ mode of communication, the only way to communicate. Get people involved, even using incentives at the beginning if needed.”

For those that could not make it, it’s definitely a must-see. Between all of the points of view, experiences, and roles, it really gave a good insiders’ view of what executives think about social media. We would love to hear your feedback regarding the session and potential topics you would like to hear more about and participate in as we move forward. I look forward to reading your comments!

If you have any questions or are interested in other types of social media training, check out our new complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag.  To request  customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com.

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